US embassy provides over $23 mn to Pakistan police in protective gear

ISLAMABAD:US Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Section has provided nine Pakistani police organizations more than $23 million between June and September in protective gear.

The state-of-the-art, lightweight protective gear that includes 30,500 bulletproof vests and more than 27,000 ballistic helmets has been provided to protect police officers as they fight terrorism and crime, said a statement issued here.

The police agencies include all four provincial police departments; Frontier Corps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Frontier Constabulary; Federally Administered Tribal Areas Levies; the National Highways and Motorway Police and the National Police Academy.

This assistance now brings the total number of protective gear assistance since 2009 to more than 53,000 bulletproof vests and almost 47,000 ballistic helmets.

INL Director Gregory Schiffer said that the Pakistani Police make sacrifices every day to carry out their duties and to keep their communities safe.

“Both in the United States and Pakistan, we depend on our police to protect our people, and we will continue to stand together with the people of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism and the commitment to stability and justice in Pakistan”, he added.

Bulletproof vests and helmets are critical in improving police operational capacity and saving officers’ lives as they respond to threats from heavily armed groups, including terrorists, militants, and narco-traffickers.

Across Pakistan, police officers are often targeted by criminal and terrorist groups. According to the National Police Bureau, more than 6,000 police have been killed in the line of duty in Pakistan in the last 15 years.

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